William Blake, poet, painter, engraver, artist of great talent, is the creator of a novel technique for the realization of works of astonishing power of imagination, which is remembered for its great ability to transfer in the real world its spiritual visions .
William Blake was born on Nov. 28, 1757 in London, in Soho. The family of six children is wealthy; James Blake is the father trader of knitwear. William did not attend school: Catherine is the mother to take care of his education. The young Blake shows a precocious talent for art that his father does not hesitate to encourage.
The age of ten William began attending the school of design of Henry Pars in the Strand. After completing his studies, he started an apprenticeship as an engraver, making the first experience in the study of one of the most famous artists in his field, William Ryland. The ratio of William Blake with the teacher, however, is confrontational and in 1783 enters another study, to James Basire, engraver another less known.
Introverted Blake does not get on very well with their classmates and therefore led him to spend much time in solitude, it closed in Westminster Abbey, working on sketches for illustrations for books to antiques. And 'in this period that William was born in the great passion for medieval art.
In 1779 he ends his apprenticeship with Basire and 8 October of the same year he enrolled at the school of art's most prestigious Inghilterraalla, the Royal Academy of Arts. His experience here is short and unhappy, marked by hostility against Sir Joshua Reynolds, president of the Academy. However Blake cultivates important friendships among students.
In 1780 one of his watercolors are on public display in the halls of the Royal Academy; that same year began to receive the first commissions as an engraver.
On August 18, 1782, against the advice of his father, William Blake married Catherine Boucher, daughter of a florist twenties walking. With the help of her husband Catherina learn to read and write; they will not have children, but they will live many happy union. Catherine later help her husband in the various phases of his work as an editor.
In 1783 Blake published his first illustrated book "Sketches of poetry." Only a year later, her father died: William Blake becomes publisher and merchant of prints, unfortunately soon the company fails.
In recent years home to home the younger brother Robert: for the couple becomes the son they never had; But another tragedy is consumed when in February of 1787, just nineteen, Robert died of consumption.
The figure of the brother continues to haunt Blake who becomes convinced that his deceased brother would have appeared to help resolve issues related to a new printing technique.
The goal was to combine Blake poems and illustrations on the same plate, developing a new method of printing that would enable the operation.
Blake christen this technique "Illuminated printing" and the first example is the collection peotica "Songs of Innocence" was completed in 1789. In 1794 publishes "Songs of Experience".
According to the artist, the two sides illustrated exactly the "opposite states of the human soul": the former are meditations on children, the latter (including the famous "Tyger, Tyger") concerning the lost innocence of adulthood .
Between these two collections of poetry ranks among the most important works in prose of William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," published in 1793 as illuminated book, a complex philosophical work in which expresses the revolt against established values of his era.
Blake realizes then a series of monotypes generally known by the name of "large color prints". Twelve are known - some there is also more than one individual - but is known to exist at least another monotype, which apparently has not reached us. It is probably of various subjects inspired by the Bible, William Shakespeare and Milton.
Unfortunately, the works do not get the desired success and the artist struggling to make a living as an engraver.
He knows sudden fortune in 1795 when his friend Flaxman submit it to Thomas Butts, public servant, that starting from 1799 and for the next twenty years will be his patron: Butts Blake pays a regular salary and fills the house of his works.
In 1803 due to a dispute with a drunken soldier, Blake is denounced and accused of being in charge of the dispute, but also is accused of seditious sentences pronounced against the king and the army.
On 11 January 1804 the trial and through the intervention of a friend was acquitted.
In 1809 Blake alleste an exhibition in the house that unfortunately was a disaster. At the age of fifty Blake feels a failure in the eyes of the world.
The years that follow are among the most troubled of its existence, with frequent economic difficulties overcome only with the support of the devotee Butts.
In 1818 he met his other great patron, John Linnell, time portrait and landscape painter of some success. Thanks to Linnell the last decade of his life Blake is transformed into a peaceful and productive period, without the worry of economic problems.
Starting from 1821 he started working at the tables for "The Book of Job" and the "Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri. This work includes some of the greatest masterpieces of William Blake, unfortunately death will prevent him from completing the work.
The last big illuminated books of William Blake's "Jerusalem", produced between 1804 and 1820.
In recent years, Blake suffers from what he calls "sudden tremors"; He fell ill with jaundice. Death occurs August 12, 1827, at the age of sixty nine.